Sunday, 16 August 2009

in a twist


At long last I can tell you about the secret project which has been bubbling away since early this year...I have a pattern in the latest issue of the fantastic online magazine Twist Collective! For those of you who haven't heard of it (where have you been for the last year?!) it is a knitting magazine with a difference, trying to support its designers more fully than any other publication, with a percentage of the fee from each individual pattern sold going to the designer.
The journey to today's publication began way back in January, when I received the initial mood boards from Twist. One of the themes was vintage inspired and I immediately thought of a sweater I have wanted to knit for ages, but had never had the time to bring to life. I had made this sketch while watching a favourite film, Bell, Book and Candle, starring two of my favourite hollywood stars, Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. It is my interpretation of a sweater Novak wears in the film; I have always found her wardrobe in it is spectacularly dramatic and inspirational, as her character is a mysterious witch who falls in love with Stewart's more human form. With design already sorted, I did some swatching for the woven look trims and sent off a my board, complete with swatches, and luckily the Twist folk liked the idea as much as I did.

From there it was all systems go and in March we struggled over choosing a yarn which would do the sweater justice, while also creating a satisfyingly swift knit. Eventually Frog Tree Merino Melange 2ply was chosen, a beautiful worsted weight yarn in one of my of the moment shades, a soft rust red, as opposed to the scarlet of the original film.

The yarn eventually arrived from over the seas after a scarily long time and I began work in April, with a tight deadline to keep to get it back to Canada by May. This led to a few weeks tied to a cold sofa with only daytime T.V. and my woolen blanket and slippers for company! Luckily the yarn was a dream to work with and aside from having to re-knit the neckline many times to get the shape I wanted, it was a really enjoyable process.

I originally envisaged a soft, cosy and quick knit, with a big fifties kick and while throughout the deisgn process Novak has evolved, I am very pleased with the finished product. The simple structure and retro silhouette are very me and therefore before the sweater went on its round the world trip, I could not resist having a fun trying on session, imitating those elegantly eccentric poses of the many old knitting patterns I have from the era. The yarn is beautiful, giving a sumptuous drape and unbelievably light and cosy fabric and Twist Collective have made it shine with the fifties styling. So, the only downside to the whole affair is that I won't be able to wear it this winter, as Novak is still touring the world, enjoying its fame and freedom!

There are some gorgeous patterns in Fall's Twist, so if you need a new project or want to read some interesting stitch related articles this Autumn, make sure you get over there and support one of the many talented small designers.

8 comments:

Bee Creative said...

Ooooo - look at you!!! Fab pattern and soooo Jackie Oooo!

TomatoTea said...

What a beautiful sweater! The neckline/collar is beautiful!! Twist is a super magazine, i am constantly 'ooo'ing and 'aahh'ing at the wonderful designs they have :D

claire montgomerie said...

thank you!
me too, that's why I am so chuffed!

karenmoran said...

Absolutely LOVE it!

claire montgomerie said...

thank you karen :)

kchealy said...

Hoping you could answer a question for me about the pattern (which I love, BTW). I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get down to 1 st. on the left front doing the raglan decreases if i'm supposed to knit 2 then ssk? That last decrease in this pattern leaves me w/ 3 st. rather than 1. If you could clarify for me, I'd appreciate it. Thank you!

claire montgomerie said...

oops! sorry about that. when you get down to the 3 sts, do a sl 1, k2tog, psso for the neatest decrease, keeping all shaping the same. let me know if you get stuck again, try sending me a message on ravelry if you are on there.

kchealy said...

Thanks!